Appropriation Process 2

So I tried the mosaic idea and it wasn’t really doing anything I didn’t hate, so I went back to the layered idea that I was working with with the forest piece based loosely off the work of Idris Khan. I’m actually very happy with how the forest turned out. See here, here and here, but I didn’t feel like it pushed me as much in terms of creativity and skill, so I wanted to try other things once I finished it.

I spent one workshop day in class working on this image of an octopus that I mentioned in my last blog post, but ultimately scrapped it because I wasn’t happy with where it was going.

So here’s how my layered piece using Mark Zuckerberg as the subject came out, but I still wasn’t happy with it visually, although it was more approaching the meaning I wanted with the mosaic piece.

I got distracted somewhere in the middle with the stress of my personal finances and made a few versions of a piece that also imitated Khan’s work, entitled Debt, in which images of various sample billing ledgers were used to create a chaotic piece that embodied my anxiety and frustration. Although, I’m unhappy with any of the versions, I’m documenting my process here, so I’ll include them for the sake of completeness. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Finally, I went back to my idea mentioned earlier of a composite portrait. Although it may not immediately be as visually pleasing as the forest piece, I feel that it’s a more significant work. The purpose here is to show a layered person – we’re all multifaceted and it’s important to remember that there’s more to a person than just one side of them. In this piece, I strove to capture things such as public persona juxtaposed with a more personal, private or relaxed side the subject. This takes into account perceived personality and usual appearance, work ethic, how time is spent and divided between work and leisure and other such important issues of a person’s life. I chose Mark Zuckerberg as the subject not only for the reasons mentioned in the last post, but because there is such a conflicting public perception of him as a person, entrepreneur and businessman, not to mention the privacy issues that are constantly coming up in terms of Facebook and the line between public and private faces that many people worry that the social network blurs.

The final work is entitled Pieces Form the Whole, and the title is appropriated from the song of the same name off of the score for The Social Network film. (You can listen to the track here on youtube.)

Disclaimer: Individual images for the “Forest of Trees” piece were gathered from stock on deviantArt and can be found at the following locations: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Pictures of Mark Zuckerberg and sample billing ledgers, as well as components used in the octopus piece were gathered via Google image search and Bing image search and I didn’t save the URLs. All images were appropriated and I can only take credit for the final work and not the individual images that make up the components of the work.

Appropriation process

I’ve been really sick for 2 days now, so I ended up missing class today. I’m laying in bed, thinking about what I would be doing if I were in class – working. I’m a self-admitted workaholic in terms of my creativity. I spent the entire weekend working with wire for my 3D design class, but this project has been looming in the back of my mind.

I’m happy with the trees image that I made, but I had it finished before class even started last Wednesday, so I spent that entire class period working on an additional image that I’m not happy with. I’m scrapping that, too, and starting work on something else.

Things catch me and sometimes they stick with me. I’ve always been big into being a fan of things and those things can hold me anywhere from a few months to years, flitting in and out of the content of everything I do, from writing to art. Something that’s been running in the background for me a lot is the movie The Social Network as well as its accompanying soundtrack. I know the movie isn’t factually accurate (I do my homework about things like something possessed sometimes if the information is out there to accompany whatever I’m into) but it’s poignant and it hit something in me that I can’t shake. I spent most of class last time trying to figure out how I could work my latest interest into my work unsuccessfully and ended up making an octopus with an elephant trunk and horns. I’d post the work in progress (that probably won’t be finished) but I feel awful and don’t want to get up to get my flash drive. I can lay here in bed and type just fine, maybe even work, but getting up and moving isn’t something I’m up for right now.

I was thinking of making some kind of composite portrait out of pictures of him but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Then I found this and it’s just perfect. It’s a portrait of Mark Zuckerberg made with pieces of Facebook. It’s licensed under a creative commons license that doesn’t allow for derivative works, though, so I feel hesitant about building anything similar. I’ll probably stick with my original idea of making some kind of composite portrait, but we’ll see how it goes. It just stunned me to see someone thinking along similar lines to me – of building someone out of something they’re known for. It draws back on the last assignment of an archive in a way, when you think about the fact that it’s a repetition of items used again and again – ie: a mosaic of a teacher being made out of pictures of classrooms, etc. I don’t know if I’ll have time to come up with something full off this idea by Wednesday with how awful I’ve been feeling, but if not, it’s something to pursue in my free time and I do have the finished tree picture to turn in. Proof that even through the haze of cold medicine, my brain is still trying to work.

I didn’t feel well enough to make it to more than one class without throwing up today, but I didn’t take the day off. I feel good about that.